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John Aubrey
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Author
    (March 12, 1626-June 7, 1697)
    Born in Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
    Antiquarian and biographer
    Best known for writing 'Brief Lives'
    He spent the last twenty years of his life living with friends to avoid his creditors.
    Most of his literary projects were never completed and went unpublished until after his death.
    He constantly switched between first and third person when writing about himself.
    His 'Brief Lives' was very gossipy.
    Lytton Strachey wrote, 'He could rarely distinguish a fact from a fantasy.'
    He rediscovered the megalithic remains at Avebury.
    At Avebury and Stonehenge, he was the first to use surveying equipment to draw accurate representations of the sites and correctly concluded that Stonehenge was far older than his contemporaries believed.
    His pioneering work in archaeology (along with his friendship with many scientists) got him elected to the Royal Society (1663).
    He said regarding the anecdotes about famous people that he collected, 'These curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellows as I am put them down.'
    With that motto, he could have been an AIA Profile Writer had he lived today.

Credit: C. Fishel


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